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Title: The United States and the politics of the laws of war since 1945
Author: Carvin, Stephanie Jennifer
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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The critique of the laws of war (and international law in general) coming out of America as the war on terror began seemed to have emerged as a response to the horror of 9/11 and the belief that the US was now engaged in a 'new paradigm' of warfare. However, the Bush administration's argument needs to be situated in a wider historical context. The source of the arguments against the post-Vietnam US military legal regime emerged well before 9/11 and can be traced to the end of the Cold War. These doctrines emerged out of the work of the 'new sovereigntists' and out of the frustrations guided by coalition warfare. The implications of the Bush administration's arguments are very significant for America's relationship with the laws of war, challenging the traditional division between jus ad bellum and jus in bello associated with the rise of the Westphalian system. As the world's most powerful army, and the most active army in the West, America's stance will have important implications as to how the laws of war are applied to future conflicts. Additionally, as the war on terror has generated new ethical dilemmas for the American military, the rebalancing of the priority between international law and the need for security has proved very problematic. Legal uncertainties and inconsistent policies have arguably resulted in several scandals, most notably the abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The thesis will trace US thinking on the laws of war since 1945, noting in particular the impact of Vietnam, the 1991 Gulf War, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available